|Last summer, I stumbled a fabulous book on figurative mortuary statues in Azerbaijan.
I was already aware of the lions in Ispahan and south, but these were totally new. They are principally of rams and horses, but the book includes stone carvings unlike any I've ever seen anywhere. The book is in Russian, so I've not been able to read much of it, but it inspired me to do slightly more Celtic versions of them for the Plains of Rohan.
I even went as far as sketching out a history of such statues through the different stylistic periods of the Rohirrim.
I truly love such excursions into fantasy, they add ponderation and careful observation to one's reflexions on the nature of fantasy itself.
No matter what we invent, someone, somewhere, perhaps thousands of years before, has already done it.